You wake up in the morning, and something is clearly wrong, but you cannot place your finger on it. Your hand does not work.

You think back to the collision with another car last week, but brush it off. After all, you have been walking around fine since it happened. You decide you must have slept on your arm and that it is just pins and needles. However, five minutes later, it has not improved. What should you do?

Pick up the phone with your working hand and ring for help. Tell them you had a car crash, and now you cannot feel your hand, or cannot control it. Then get back into bed and wait.

Your inability to feel your hand may be due to a spinal injury sustained in the car crash. Spinal injuries are delicate things; even the slightest wrong move could aggravate them and increase the risk.

Just because you have been feeling fine in the week since that other car hit you, does not rule out a spinal injury — they can take time to show. Here are a few other signs that you may have injured your spine:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Unable to walk
  • Unable to control our bladder or bowels
  • Balance problems
  • Sharp pain in your back, neck or head

It is vital not to settle a car accident claim too quickly. You need to be sure you have fully recovered; otherwise, you could leave yourself out of pocket if you discover you have a spinal injury.